June Tool: ml_pivot

It’s the end of the month, and thanks to my Patreon supporters that means a new tool. This months flavour comes by request, though it remains to be seen whether it works as they hoped. It was a bit of a science experiment, and there’s probably more features which could be added in the future, so I’m interested in hearing feedback from you about it.

So it’s a tool for changing the pivot of an animated transform in maya. The workflow is like this:

  1. Animate something.
  2. With it selected, run the tool and press “Edit Pivot”
  3. Your selection will change to a handle. Position the handle to where you want the pivot to be, and then press Return. If you deselect the handle or press Escape it will cancel.
  4. The scene will play through to bake, and afterward you should have the exact same animation but with a different pivot.

Disclaimer! Because everyone’s rigs are set up differently, in some cases changing the pivot position may break a rig. Before you try this on a new rig, please save your scene, and do let me know if you have found a bug that causes trouble. Also if you haven’t updated ml_utilities in a while, you may want to grab that too.

Give it a go:

Pivot
Pivot
ml_pivot.py
Version: 1
10.2 KiB
90 Downloads
Details
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Pixar Tentacles

Here’s my friend and mentor Jeremie Talbot talking about octopus rigging. Can’t wait to see this guy in action!

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New Tool: Graph Editor Mask

I’ve added a new tool at the end of last month, but have been slow to post about it. Graph Editor Mask is a way of quickly isolating or masking curves in the graph editor by channel, axis, or selection. So if you want to look at just ty for all the selected objects, or just rotates, or just the selected curves. It’s designed to work as hotkeys, if you can spare the keyboard real-estate.

GraphEditorMask
GraphEditorMask
ml_graphEditorMask.py
Version: 1
8.6 KiB
184 Downloads
Details

Also wanted to add that once I started using Maya 2016 I realized it broke my options to create hotkeys from within tools. I’ve updated ml_utilities with a dirty patch to just print to the command instead, and I’ll need to investigate the best way to get that fixed in the future.

As always, thanks for the support on Patreon to keep these tools coming!

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May Bonus Tool: Frame Graph Editor

This tool comes from a request, and was perfectly timed since even though I was happy to get the shelf out, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t have a new tool to share.

The request came up in this old post about framing the graph editor, and that it could be better if it also framed vertically based on only the curves which are visible. So that’s what this script is about, showing you what you actually want to see when you frame the graph editor. For greatest satisfaction, replace your “f” hotkey with:

import ml_frameGraphEditor
ml_frameGraphEditor.main()
Frame GraphEditor
Frame GraphEditor
ml_frameGraphEditor.py
Version: 4
5.2 KiB
182 Downloads
Details

Enjoy!

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ml_worldBake Update

I’ve updated ml_worldBake to support weighted tangents, all you need is to download the latest ml_utilities script for it to work.

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Animation Tool Shelf

ml_shelf

This month’s tool is a bit of a punt (it’s been a crazy busy month), but something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It’s all the animation tools bundled as a shelf, with fancy icons! I don’t know why the icons have been slowly breaking on the download page, another bug for the list, but I figured they probably aren’t downloaded much anyway. This I figured might be a way for people to try out all the tools without having to download them all individually. Here you go, I promise next month’s tool will be a real tool.

Animation Shelf
Animation Shelf
ml_animationShelf.zip
Version: 2
146.1 KiB
226 Downloads
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Bye For Now, Weta

Yesterday was my last day at Weta for now, I’ve taken a new gig for a change of scenery on a project that I’m pretty excited about. More on that later.

P1170559

I was given a traditional leaving present from the animation department, this beautiful greenstone necklace. I’m grateful for my time at Weta and the friends I’ve made there, and I hope to be back some day.

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Time for another Thank You!

The latest round of Patreon supporters include a lot of familiar names (and a lot of talented animators). Thank you, friends!

Todd Elliot
Carmelo Leggiero
Andrew Park
Jesse Vickery
Dan R. Paulsen

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Twit

Against all better judgement, I’ve started a Twitter account.

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New Crowdfunded Tool: Tangent Weight

Hello again, another month, another tool! I’m posting this one a bit early, because any day now my family is going to be suddenly indisposed for a while.

This months tool is a small one, but is based on another workflow which I wish was a bit easier and more integrated into maya. When controlling your spacing, rather than adding keys, sometimes it can be nice to adjust tangents instead. The issue with adjusting tangents by hand is that you have to set the whole curve to weighted, and then you can’t easily change the length of a tangent without also adjusting the angle.

tangentWeights

With this tool, you adjust tangent weight up or down without having to select the tangents. As an example, to make a classic bouncing ball curve, you’d select the trough keys and decrease the tangents, then select the peak keys and increase the tangents.

tangentWeightAnimation

For me this works best to assign to a hotkey, so you can quickly increase and decrease tangents incrementally. Enjoy!

Tangent Weight
Tangent Weight
ml_tangentWeight.py
Version: 3
6.3 KiB
179 Downloads
Details

Thanks again to my Patreon contributors for making this possible!

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